Pullman’s American Legion post wants to celebrate its 100th anniversary with the community and has teamed up with Community Band of the Palouse for a free live concert.
The concert will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Gladish Community and Cultural Center in Pullman. It is the seventh Veterans Day concert at which the Community Band of the Palouse has performed.
“This is our favorite event of the year for many of us,” said band director Denise Snider, who added there are 10 military veterans in the band.
Veterans are invited to the concert, which will feature a patriotic musical piece written by a barrier-breaking U.S. soldier in 1918.
The song, “There’s a Service Flag in the Window,” was written by Col. Charles Young and has been arranged for Sunday’s concert by his cousin, WSU music professor Horace Alexander Young.
“We’re the first group to play it,” Snider said of the 101-year-old piece.
According to the National Park Service website, Charles Young in 1884 became only the third African-American to graduate from West Point. He would later teach at Wilberforce University in Ohio, where he helped create the university’s marching band. In 1903, he became the first African-American national park superintendent when he and his troops were directed to manage Sequoia National Park in California.
In 1917, the 54-year-old Young was medically retired, but tried to demonstrate his fitness to serve by making a 100-mile horseback ride from Ohio to Washington, D.C. He was ordered to train recruits for World War 1.
The national American Legion, and the Pullman Maynard-Price Post 52, was established shortly after in 1919.
Maynard-Price Post 52 was named after two WWI soldiers, Ivan Price and Charles Boyd Maynard who both attended Washington State College, now WSU, and died during the war.
Mary Brentlinger, Maynard-Price Post 52 commander, said she spoke to Snider about tying in the American Legion with the Community Band of the Palouse in order to make the 100th anniversary a more public event.
“It’s really an honor to have lasted this long,” she said.
Brentlinger said one of the more recent changes with American Legion is the enactment of the LEGION Act, which allows anyone who served on active duty after Dec. 7, 1941, to be eligible to join the American Legion. Before, only those who served during wartime were allowed to apply.
She said this will enable more of the younger veterans and women to join. She said there are now about 65 people in Maynard-Price Post 52.
Snider said celebrations like the Veterans Day concert are important because young veterans do not return home to parades like veterans of past generations. She said all veterans deserve to be recognized because they all make sacrifices, no matter when or where they serve.
“At the very least, people sacrifice the comforts of their home and loved ones,” Snider said.
Snider said Sunday’s concert is free, but visitors are encouraged to bring donations of nonperishable food to be collected for food banks. A reception will follow the concert.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.